Recent comments

  • Greatest Music Videos (in chronological order)   1 day 13 hours ago

    Thanks. I'm familiar with Cyriak, I remember liking him. I'll look into that video and perhaps the other music videos he has made.

    I think I saw one video by OK Go, which I decided not to put on this list. What do you consider to be their most artistic videos?

  • Greatest Music Videos (in chronological order)   1 day 13 hours ago

    The Breakaway video is really impressive. The way it is done, with the fast cutting and everything, makes it look like both Toni Basil and the film itself are dancing together (wildly). The part at the end where it goes backwards is a nice twist, even though in the end I might prefer the forwards part.
    The other ones are maybe a bit too gimmicky for me, though. They take an interesting idea, but don't really explore it in depth.

  • Best movies (that I've seen)   1 day 18 hours ago

    Cool, makes sense. Still hope you change it some day, though I do understand your reasoning :-)

  • Best movies (that I've seen)   1 day 18 hours ago

    For the same reason I do it for some of my music lists: variety. I think it's a good way to showcase some lesser known directors, as opposed to having five entries each for all the great directors (although I guess most directors on this list are pretty well-known). I would agree with you, however, that it's not the best strategy for an accurate list. But then I guess accuracy wasn't really what I was going for, as I mentioned in another comment I put this list together pretty hastily.

    Honestly I've watched very little film in the past year or two so I'm not sure my opinions would be up to date, even if I were to make a more inclusive list.

  • Best movies (that I've seen)   1 day 19 hours ago

    Love pretty much everything on here and (at a glance) I'd rate all of them 7/10 or higher -- so no qualms with what you have listed, but why 1 movie per director? It forces the omission of several of the greatest films ever made (if you've seen them). For instance, with Welles one is forced to omit Citizen Kane or Touch of Evil, both of which are far more extraordinary than most of what's listed. Or with Tarkovksy... Etc. All 7 of Tarkovsky's films are more extraordinary than some selections, and 5 of 7 are more extraordinary than most (even though they're fine selections). Do you agree/disagree?

  • Greatest Music Videos (in chronological order)   1 day 20 hours ago

    I recommend the music video for Bonobo's Cirrus. It's done by Cyriak, who if you don't know is one of the creative (weirdest) video artists out there.

    Also don't forget about OK Go, they've consistently released some of the coolest music videos ever.

  • Alberto Manguel's Non-Canonical List of Favorite Books   1 day 21 hours ago

    A wonderful list full of great suggestions. Thanks for publishing it!

  • Best movies (that I've seen)   2 days 2 hours ago

    This list was pretty hastily put together. Looking back, I probably would change that. In my defense they have made a lot of really good movies. Miller's Crossing, Inside Llewyn Davis and Fargo are all worth checking out. The Big Lebowski is a classic.

  • Greatest Music Videos (in chronological order)   2 days 15 hours ago

    I would be too. I might start in on this when I finish/come to a good point on my Nostalghia analysis, among some other mini-projects.

  • Best movies (that I've seen)   2 days 16 hours ago

    Isn't your favourite Coen movie Miller's Crossing according to the list? I personally think The Big Lebowski (only Coen movie I've seen besides No Country for Old Men) is a better film, but still agree with you that No Country for Old Men is a masterpiece.

  • Best movies (that I've seen)   3 days 3 hours ago

    The book is good, although probably not one of his best. The movie is a masterpiece. Easily my favorite Coen brother's movie. I can't think of many movies that are able to sustain that level of tension from start to finish--the film-making is superb.

  • Greatest Music Videos (in chronological order)   3 days 6 hours ago

    I'd be interested to know what you think of them all.

  • Best movies (that I've seen)   3 days 6 hours ago

    Speaking of Cormac McCarthy, what do you think of No Country for Old Men (the book and the movie)?

  • Greatest Music Videos (in chronological order)   3 days 8 hours ago

    Thanks. Although most probably won't make this list, suggestions are definitely appreciated. Especially the obscure ones like Breakaway can be useful, because they're difficult to find. I have to rewatch them some more to know whether they should be on my list, but Breakaway has perhaps the biggest chance of making it.

  • Greatest Music Videos (in chronological order)   4 days 10 hours ago

    Suggestions:
    Breakaway - Toni Basil
    Smack My Bitch Up - The Prodigy
    Just - Radiohead
    Windowlicker - Aphex Twin

    After 2000:
    Without Me - Eminem
    Burn the Witch - Radiohead
    Up&Up - Coldplay

    I don't really know that many videos though. I haven't even watched most of those on this list.

  • Greatest Music Videos (in chronological order)   5 days 6 hours ago

    I'm curious whether you can find any recent videos that are worthwile. As you can see my list stops at 2000, because I couldn't find anything good enough after that.

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Visual Art of the Week (2016)   5 days 15 hours ago

    Sweet, thanks :-)

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Visual Art of the Week (2016)   5 days 15 hours ago

    Yeah 7/10's (upbeat/optimistic too).

  • Favorite Rock Albums (Eclectic)   5 days 15 hours ago

    Thank you for the explanation. It's had dips for me over the years too, but always seems to come back. It is just so indelible and timeless -- nothing really like it, such a "lightning in a bottle", impossible to replicate.

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Visual Art of the Week (2016)   5 days 16 hours ago

    Awesome! No, I haven't heard it but Ill definitely check it out. By "lower reaches of pop list" I assume you mean the 7/10s, not 7.3 (which is where all my other lists end)?

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Visual Art of the Week (2016)   5 days 16 hours ago

    Have you heard the Dictators' "Go Girl Crazy" (1975)? IMO it's as good or better than some of the power pop/punk pop you seem to be listening to lately. It replaces some of the enthusiasm of those albums with a detached parody sensibility, but not all of the time, and anyway it has a lot of enthusiasm for the parody itself so it's comparable. I think it's better than Rocket to Russia and (surprising myself on my last 2 listens) even Dookie and that it would make the lower reaches of your Pop list if you haven't heard it. I think the highlights are The Next Big Thing, Master Race Rock, and Two Tub Man, the rest of the album being hysterical reinterpretations of what Christgau called "circa-1965 California teendom at its dumbest" albeit smart. If you're not familiar: legendary hilarious proto-punk band that introduced "junk culture" to rock music and influenced the Ramones (and the Beastie Boys) and whose personalities Punk magazine was based on.

  • Greatest Music Videos (in chronological order)   5 days 18 hours ago

    I like this idea for a list. Might be tempting to give it a shot at some point.

  • Favorite Rock Albums (Eclectic)   5 days 19 hours ago

    It's one of the albums on this list that I listened to the earliest. I can sing and play the whole album, and for a while I thought I was getting tired of it. However, I've started to appreciate more the almost religious, childlike attitude of the album, especially in the last song. Mangum's voice and imagery is so clear, and the way he plays guitar feels human, like Brian McMahan does in a different way on the electric.

    One reason I'd been putting Aeroplane lower was that listening to the full album had felt like reading Genesis in the Bible, in a way. There are profound moments throughout the album, but I know the story so well, it feels like I'm rushing past everything. However, the balance of the album is rare, and I enjoy listening to it all the way through again nowadays.

  • Favorite Rock Albums (Eclectic)   5 days 19 hours ago

    Very difficult, since the songs flow so well together. The band said that they wanted the songs to keep getting better, since their favorite albums were arranged like that. They chose Breadcrumb Trail to introduce listeners to the world of the album. Dave Pajo's favorite is For Dinner... which usually doesn't get much attention, as an interlude-like piece. However, it sets up Good Morning, Captain well, even ending on the chord with which GMC begins. Washer has the loudest section of the whole album, and it would be the climax if it weren't for the end of the final track. Agreed about Don Aman being surreal. The producer said seeing Britt play that song hinted him being the architect for the album's aesthetic and vibe. Nosferatu Man puts me in a trance, despite it being the closest thing to the band rocking out, after the end of GMC. To answer your question, I have listened to GMC the most, but I enjoy listening to the full album more often that any one track. Not too hard to find time, since it's only 40 minutes. Thanks for the comment.

  • Music Rankings & Notes   5 days 19 hours ago

    Yes, that is exactly what I said, which did not include that I think the lyrics are among the worst lyrics in history. It's a misunderstanding so I'll elaborate. First, I think its lyrics are among the best in rap history. I do think the album would be very poor (well below 5/10) if there were no music accompaniment, and it was just spoken-word, un-rapped lyrics of Illmatic's lyric sheet being recited. I said this to point out how inconsequential the lyrics would be -- in terms of musical quality -- on their own as an album. Now, this is true of any album with lyrics. If one took all the best albums and made them purely spoken-word as described above, Illmatic would be up there with the best of the lot. Unfortunately, the very top of such an imaginary list would probably be like 1.5 or 2/10 on my scale if rated in relation to other rock/jazz/classical albums.

    Nas's pained/hard knocks/visceral/amazing flow of delivery of the lyrics, and many other factors, including the music accompaniment, the harsh ghetto sound and atmosphere are much greater factors of what make Illmatic so great than the lyrics themselves (imo). Due to its atmosphere, beats, and sound and recording textures, the album feels like a documentary straight from the streets, its backdrops and pained/angry/outcried chorus repetitions, with recordings of his lost friends and voices from those streets that sound like "ghosts", beckoning, powerful reminders of death that Nas is having harrowing/nostalgic/touching reminders of, his roots, these harbingers of his presumed short life haunting him. The album is full of reserved/controlled anger, pain, despair and harsh reality. His smooth, rhythmic rapping style and the often insistent beats evoke the sense that he is constantly moving through those streets, observing and reminiscing upon the degradation of his environment.